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The basis of Social Security disability benefits

Citizens of Missouri are eligible to receive government benefits from the Social Security Administration if an injury has made it impossible for them to work. The rule is easy to state, but knowing whether and how it applies to an individual's unique situation is not always so simple. A single blog post does not have sufficient room to explain all features of Social Security disability law, but a review of basic principles of SSD claims can be helpful.

The basic rule is that, in order to receive disability benefits, a person must be physically unable to perform the basic work related duties of his or her occupation, the person's physical condition prevents adaptation to another type of work and the disability is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death. The applicant must also have worked for a specified period depending upon his or her age. For example, a claimant who is younger than 28 must have worked for a period of 1.5 years, while a claimant who is 50 must have worked continuously for a period of seven years.

An applicant must submit an application for disability benefits for injury to a local Social Security office. The applicant must provide information on the medical condition that caused his or her inability to work. The applicant must also provide information on prior earnings and other aspects of his or her income needs. The Social Administration will review the information and render a decision on the application in three to five months.

Many applicants for disability benefits have injuries or medical conditions that may leave doubt about eligibility, and some applications are incorrectly denied. Anyone who is contemplating applying Social Security disability benefits may wish to consult a lawyer who specializes in such cases. An experience lawyer can provide guidance about how to make the application and how to select and submit medical and work information that will enhance the chances of the application's approval.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Disability Planner," accessed on Dec. 21, 2015

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